Chicks Dig Comics Table of Contents

The time has come when I can reveal the full splendor of the contributors for the forthcoming Chicks Dig Comics.

Introduction by Mark Waid
Editors’ Foreword, by Lynne M. Thomas and Sigrid Ellis
Mary Batson and the Chimera Society, by Gail Simone
Summers and Winters, Frost and Fire, by Seanan McGuire
Cosplay, Creation, and Community, by Erica McGillivray
An Interview with Amanda Conner
A Matter of When, by Carla Speed McNeil
The Other Side of the Desk, by Rachel Edidin
An Interview with Terry Moore
Nineteen Panels about Me and Comics, by Sara Ryan
I’m Batman, by Tammy Garrison
An Interview with Alisa Bendis
My Secret Identity, by Caroline Pruett
The Green Lantern Mythos: A Metaphor for My (Comic Book) Life, by Jill Pantozzi
Vampirella, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Page Turn, by Jen Van Meter
Confessions of a (Former) Unicorn, by Tara O’Shea
The Evolution of a Tart, by Sheena McNeil
Kitty Queer, by Sigrid Ellis
The Captain in the Capitol: Invoking the Superhero in Daily Life by, Jennifer Margret Smith
Burn, Baby Burn, by Lloyd Rose
Tune in Tomorrow, by Sue DCWKA
An Interview with Greg Rucka
Comic Book Junkie, by Jill Thompson
From Pogo to Girl Genius, by Delia Sherman
I am Sisyphus, and I am Happy, by Kelly Thompson
Captain America’s Next Top Model, by Anika Dane Milik
An Interview with Louise Simonson
Me Vs. Me, by Sarah Kuhn
A Road That has No Ending: Revenge in Sandman, by Sarah Monette
Mutants, by Marjorie Liu
You’re on the Global Frequency, by Elizabeth Bear
Crush on a Superhero, by Colleen Doran

When I have dropped irritatingly coy hints about how proud I am of our contributors, how pleased I am with the book, well, now you understand why. The essays in Chicks Dig Comics are from some of the brightest, most passionate, most articulate lovers of comics books I have the pleasure to know. I am proud of their work, and of this book.

You can pre-order Chicks Dig Comics.

Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Powell’s
Indiebound
Diamond

Spread the word, if you can. Tell your local comic store about the book, about the fact that Diamond is shipping it. Tell your friends, your LiveJournal or Dreamwidth, tell your blog. Tell your Facebook and Google+ acquaintances. Look at that table of contents and pre-order a copy for your mom, your sister, the girl who sits next to you in Greek Lit and doodles Wonder Woman during lecture.

If this book is anything at all, it’s a love letter. Glance up at that Table of Contents again, will you? If you love comics, just look at the company you keep.

January 30 2012

1. I am finally getting better, thank goodness.

2. I am about halfway through The Host, by Stephanie Meyer. I am enjoying it. It is, among other things, a story about very weird consent issues, and given what I have heard about the Twilight series — which I have never read — I wonder what it is about the cultural moment that Meyer is seeing.

3. I am one of those people who is obsessed with Downton Abbey. Also, being me, I can name the actors who play Lady Mary, Lady Edith, Lady Sybil, Lady Grantham, and Anna. And, um, I think the guy who plays Lord Grantham is, ah, Hugh? Maybe? Hugh something? I do have my biases.

Also, I am having a contrary streak and I really like Lady Edith, in addition to Lady Mary. Lady Edith is not plain! Or untalented! Or sour! (Okay, she’s a little bit sour. But I challenge you to remain perfectly pleasant when your whole family has written you off as a loss.) Laura Carmichael is really attractive!

4. I am really looking forward to going back to the Y, now that my cold is mostly gone.

5. It turns out that N has a slow-cooker, and a friend is lending us her bread machine! So I can try the use of both of these items for a bit before investing in them. I approve.

January 27 2012

1. Still sick. I know, I know, I am boring even myself. It remains to be seen whether I’m going to work today.

2. Both the kids are sick.

3. I haven’t worked out in a week and the weight-lifting calluses are coming off my hands, dangit.

4. I finished History of the World in 100 Objects, I finished Murder at the Wars and The Unforgiving Minutes, I finished all the tpb collections I hadn’t gotten around to reading, I started The Host.

5. J gets Hero of the Week award, for doing school every day this week without any breaks.

Cosplay update!

I have been so sick, y’all. :coughs weakly:

The pieces of my steampunk zeppelin traffic controller costume are here!

Overalls.

Linen shirt.

Leather work gloves.

Working-man’s cap.

Leather leg-guards.

I am debating these boots, but they won’t be visible really. I might skip it and just wear my actual boots. Those will be more comfortable anyway.

But, I could just get the boots, wear them this spring, break them in, and hope they are comfortable ….

Hmm.

A friend of mine is making me a signal lantern. We discussed how to do this in a steampunk manner, and said friend is a complete mad scientist, so I have faith in her designs. I also have goggles and a spyglass. :)

Fanvids

Festivids went live recently! I have a few favorites, not only from this year’s offerings but from the past years.

I love vidding. I love the creativity, the way vidders can re-cut images to comment on those images, they way music and pictures can be put together to tell entirely new stories. But, then, I’m a fan of mash-ups, fanfiction, re-interpretations, covers, homages, and all sorts of transformative works. I think culture can, does, and should interrogate itself.

Onward to the vids!

Push is one of the best superhero movies I’ve seen. This vid describes the relationship between the lead characters, while highlighting the awesomeness of Dakota Fanning.

I Gave You All

Sarah Connor of the various Terminator properties is one of my favorite characters ever. This vid, set to “L.E.S. Artistes” by Santigold, tries to get at the deliberate isolation that Connor cultivates, and her reasons for doing so.

Birds of Prey was not a very good television show. And Ashley Scott as Huntress was not incredibly well-written. But she is really hot, and kinda bad-ass, and this vid features those qualities. Shallow rec is shallow.

Dragonslayer was a movie I watched obsessively as a young adolescent. It was one of the formative texts in my early “being a girl is going to suck” theory. I found the vidder’s comments on this vid to be interesting. Basically, the vidder didn’t like the text of the film very much, and tried to fix the plot in her vid. I rather approve.

There was a phase in middle school-junior high when, rather than tell people who my favorite character on The Facts of Life was, I said I didn’t watch it. Some early sense of queer-clostedness, I expect. Because, of course I liked Jo. This vid captures some of the unintended subtext. Subtext which, let me tell you, I saw perfectly well when I was younger.

Finally, This vid for the Die Hard movies conflates sex and violence, deliberately pointing out how well the movies do the same thing.

Thinking Ficcishly

I am sick, and coughing non-stop, and vaguely miserable. Last night’s illness-gloom was alleviated by the hijacking of the Twitter hashtag #LGBTfacts. It *was* being used by some anti-gay hate-group. As of this morning it was the property of “pro-homosexual twitter accounts.” I’m rather pleased by this.

My head has been thinking fannishly the last few weeks. I have various plot bunnies to offer you all:

1. Olivia Dunham (from the tv series Fringe) and Audrey Horne (from the tv series Twin Peaks) are roommates at the FBI academy. Their respective personalities are immediately, on the surface, something that the other does not trust. What happens next? What is their relationship like? Optional: One of their instructors is Dana Scully (X-Files) or Clarice Starling (Silence of the Lambs, et al.)

2. The tv series Downton Abbey in a steampunk universe. What changes? What doesn’t? How does the tech level affect The Great War, and how does this in turn change things at Downton?

3. Officer Valentine (Resident Evil: Apocalypse) and Lara Croft (Tomb Raider). Valentine is on indefinite leave and is taking vacation in Bali, to get away from The Umbrella Corporation. Lara is in Bali hunting for a lost city rumored to once have a cure for zombification. They team up, fight zombies, wear really short-shorts, and save the world.

4. A new book has come out, [Insert Character Name Here]‘s Guide to Ethical Polyamory. What character would you want to see this book from, and what would a choice snippet from it be?

Discuss!

I will also accept fic written from these prompts, playlists of music, photo manips, or vids.

:grins: This is my brain, welcome to it.

January 23 2012

1. K had a concert on Saturday that I was able to go see! It was the sort of things where fourteen small bands send members, they learn the music at 9:00 a.m., and perform at 2:00 p.m. For all that, it was fun, and I was glad to see K perform.

2. The kids made dinner on Saturday evening! Well, mostly. They picked the ingredients from what we had available, did 80% of the chopping, picked the spices and flavors they wanted, and did all the stirring. What resulted was imperfect but absolutely edible.

3. The overalls for my cosplay arrived. They need to look battered and broken-in, so I told the children to take the pants to the play room and go to town on them. I believe the children each climbed into one leg of the overalls and started wrestling. I didn’t ask for details.

4. M has really gotten into the computer game Minecraft. Since N and J are both playing it a lot, this works out well. I merely presume that any remarks related to diamonds, lava, netherack, or strip-mines are Not My Concern.

5. K taught herself how to braid by observation. She is the sort of person who can watch a physical activity being performed, and figure out what to do with her body to replicate that activity. This is like living with a space alien as far as I am concerned. I cannot pick up physical skills that way. I think my daughter is kinda awesome.

6. The money is not in the bank yet, but my family has sold our cabin in Wisconsin. I am breaking even, in the sense that I have lost all the money for taxes, interest on loans, and upkeep, but I will not owe any more money to anyone, either. Given the real estate climate right now, this is a complete and total victory.

7. An acquaintance of mine once remarked casually, about some plans, “Eh, I’m easy.” Her partner looked at her, smirking, and said, “No, you’re effortless.”

Yesterday a friend recommended a book to me by saying the following:

“It’s about a sassy teenage girl living in a post-apocalyptic survival colony who shares her mind with an alien, and she’s being tracked by a female alien/person with emotional problems.”

Ahem. I’m not easy, I’m effortless. Also, the benefit of telling all of you the sorts of things I like to read and watch is that you then tell me about these things.

Steampunk zeppelin traffic controller cosplay

Last year at CONvergence I was contemplating cosplay. Specifically, I was contemplating what I personally might or might not get out of cosplay.

Now, I don’t know how you, Gentle Reader, do your cosplay. But to me it seems that cosplay provides two types of experiences. You can cosplay in a way that reveals something about yourself — your desires, your goals, your hopes and fears, your self-image — or you can cosplay in a way that disguises and obfuscates these things. I’ve never been good at acting, so the second option — cosplaying as something I would never be or do or want — is not appealing to me. So what, then, are the aspects of myself that I want to put on display via cosplay?

I love steampunk, I truly do. But so much of it seems to be focused on the adventurer, the lone scientist, the rebel, the explorer. I am not a loner. I am not a rebel. The closest I ever got to being a rebel in my life was being vaguely approving of ACT-UP and Queer Nation, and that was mostly because I could meet women. Yes, yes, I did shave the side of my head and braid resistors and charms into my hair in a Shadowrun-RPG-inspired way, but, honestly, so were a lot of people at the time. If I cosplayed as a swaggering piratical pilot, I would be acting the whole time. And I am pants at acting.

My desire to dress steampunk starts with “oh my, those goggles look AWESOME, I want to wear them!” Yet one really looks a bit foolish wearing a pair of brass-and-leather goggles around one’s neck while shopping for soymilk at Target. I love my fantasy life, I do, but I am not the sort of person who blends my fantasy life and my real life. I segregate, keeping the fiction off to one side. (I understand this is not the way everyone does it, and that’s fine. Not judging, speaking merely for my desires.) So I need some sort of cosplay outfit. Yet I can’t bring myself to just wear the goggles around a convention for no purpose. If I’m going to wear them, I’m going to wear them for a reason.

Finally, it hit me. If there are zeppelins, they must take off and land. And if there are airfields, there are airfield controllers. And airfield controller is EXACTLY the sort of person I am. The quiet person who stays on the ground, thank-you-very-much, helping the endeavors of others, remaining in the background. I could totally cosplay a zeppeling traffic controller.

So what does a ZTC do? What would the costume need? Well, a ZTC would stand on top of a tall tower in the center of the field, scanning the horizon for the signals of incoming airships. Brass spyglass, check. She would flash the signal lights at the incoming ships, giving the coded directions to tell the captain where to land. She would signal the ground crew to get ready. Hand-held signal box and signal flags, check. She would sometimes come down from the tower and help the ground crew pull the ship into position at mooring, or move the egress tower to and from the side of the gondola. Goggles, leather gloves, coil of rope, check.

The ZTC’s clothes would be workman’s clothes — a coverall, to protect the legs and feet from ropes, mud, and debris. Her cap would be soft and practical, shading the eyes but not getting in the way. Under the coveralls she wears a shirt, but not a vest — the coveralls provide decency.

This, this is a cosplay I can do. Stolid, staid, and practical. I look forward to showing it off at CONvergence!

January 19 2012

1. I got my Zombilert medallion on Tuesday! This led to me explaining to the children what “Double Tap” means. The explanation went easier than I thought, since K apparently knows all about zombie attacks from The Seventh Doctor story, “The Curse of Fenric,” and M understands the fundamental rule of zombification, there is no cure. And both children are veteran Plants vs. Zombies players. So. Sometimes the hard explanations are not so hard. “Why does your mom have a badge that says to shoot her in the head?” “Oh, that’s only if she’s a zombie.”

I feel I have done something parental.

2. My new favorite fashion blog is Scrapscallion.

3. Yesterday was the anti-SOPA demonstration blackout. I called my representative and senators.

4. I am sloooooooowly working my way up to running a mile. While at the same time working on the Starting Strength barbell program. Everything aches.

January 17 2012

Yesterday was a lovely day off. I went and saw Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows with N, I took the kids to playgroup, a friend came with me to circus to hang out and chat. All was lovely and peaceable.

Things I linked to yesterday:

Morena Baccarin was amazing at the Golden Globes.

The underground economy of stolen bicycles.

Science and medicine discover the clitoris.

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